A Child Called “It”

So I was reading the news the other day–you know, the usual depressing stuff about the economy and my freakshow state government–when I came across an item that made me literally spit out my iced chai in bewildered shock.  According to this blog post on the New York Times, there is a set of parents in Sweden who are choosing to raise their child without a gender. For real.

The parents have not revealed their two-year-old child’s gender to anyone, save for a few close relatives who have changed its diaper. Their goal is to enable the child, called “Pop” in the media, to be raised in a liberal environment devoid of the limits of the social construct known as gender identity.  No “pretty girl” or “big boy” here – Pop is only referred to by its name, and has never learned gender pronouns like “his” or “hers.”

But it gets even more bizarre. You’d think the parents would be hell-bent on raising the kid to be androgynous, since wearing pretty dresses and big boy overalls are felonious acts in the crime family of gender stereotyping.  Instead, the parents choose to give Pop “girl” hair cuts and clothing on occasion, and other times Pop will wear “boy ” hair cuts and clothing.

To me, this action in particular corrupts their whole plan. I can support parents who want their child to be raised with the freedom to become whomever he or she wants to be, but if you’re going to dress the child in boy and girl clothing, you’re only going to confuse the kid. Strangers will remark to the parents on the street, “What a beautiful daughter! How old is she?” or “What a handsome young man!” causing Pop to stress about the concept of gender that his/her parents are working so hard to minimize.

Also, what happens when the kid goes to school?  What bathroom does Pop use? Pop will eventually have to get a driver’s license or some form of government ID, or, I don’t know, look down and see his/her genitalia. Will the parents stage a protest? Put that kid on pant-removal lockdown?

Somehow I think Pop may not turn out quite as well as his/her parents are hoping. What do you think? At what point does an experiment like this go too far?

Day-to-Night Styler: Beach Babe to Party Girl
Day-to-Night Styler: Beach Babe to Party Girl
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